Jakarta (ANTARA) - First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo and Second Lady Wury Estu Handayani reviewed health services for the early detection of cervical cancer in Tangerang, Banten, on Wednesday.

They were accompanied by representatives from the Onward Indonesian Cabinet Era Solidarity Action Organization (OASE KIM).

According to a government press release, the First Lady spoke with female workers participating in the cancer screening.

She also asked several questions while reviewing the acetic acid visual inspection (IVA) examination for early cervical cancer detection, which about 100 female workers opted for.

"How often (do you conduct) IVA examination?" the First Lady asked.

"Once a year,” Yohana, one of the women waiting for her turn to undergo the IVA test, replied.

If the first test result is negative, the IVA test is recommended every five years, and once a year, if the result is positive.

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The OASE KIM has once again carried out social activities related to character education and improving health quality, society and culture, environment, and a green movement, the First Lady said.

“Usually, we have held various activities at the same time, but with the pandemic, we are only holding activities per field, because the group must be small (in terms of number)," she added.

According to the Health Ministry's Directorate General of Disease Prevention and Control, cervical cancer can be prevented with the help of early screening involving an IVA test or a Pap smear examination.

In addition, to support cervical cancer prevention, the government has made the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination mandatory.

The ministry is also targeting to conduct a nationwide HPV vaccination program in 2023. Free doses of the vaccine have been provided to female students in the fifth and sixth grades of elementary school, as the HPV vaccine is said to be more effective in reducing the prevalence of cervical cancer when administered to participants who are yet to start menstruating, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.

Related news: National-scale cervical cancer vaccination starts next year: Minister
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Translator: Mentari G, Kenzu T
Editor: Suharto
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